The Blue Screen of Death “NETIO.SYS” is one of the most common blue screens out there and is mostly associated with your network drivers on your computer. This error is not only restricted to drivers, but also other third-party programs which use the system utilities.
The workarounds for this widely known blue screen are quite simple; we will try updating your network drivers, uninstalling problematic software, and disabling all antivirus software on your computer. Furthermore, if these don’t do the trick, we will move on and perform a system restore to a previous build and disable MS update from updating any of your drivers.
Some of the blue screen where this error condition occurs include:
- IRQL_NOT_LESS_EQUAL (NETIO.SYS)
- PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA (NETIO.SYS)
- KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (NETIO.SYS)
- SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION (NETIO.SYS)
- DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (netio.sys)
Note: If you are unable to load past the blue screen, you can try booting into safe mode and then carrying out the steps listed below.
Solution 1: Disabling Antivirus Software
The reason why this blue screen of death might occur is that of interference from Antivirus software installed on your computer. There are several options which protect your computer by also monitoring different applications running and the kind of resources they are using. In many cases, the antivirus software keeps a track of data going in and out of the system.
In this solution, you have to first explore yourself and see if there are any antivirus clients which may be causing the issue. Some of the clients which were known to cause problems include Malwarebytes, McAfee, Adguard, and AVG etc.
If you are unable to still fix the problem by unchecking some options, you can disable the antivirus completely. You can check our article on How to Disable your Antivirus. Restart your computer after disabling and see if the error message still persists.
Solution 2: Updating Network Drivers
The core error message of the blue screen under discussion “netio.sys” states that there is a problem with your network drivers. It is possible that the drivers installed on your computer are not compatible with your system or there are some misconfigurations which are causing the computer to crash.
Most probably, you will not be able to access the network using your system so we will use another computer to download the drivers for you. First, we will try installing the default drivers by uninstalling the current ones and then restarting your computer. If this doesn’t work, you can install the drivers which you will download from another system.
- Using another system, navigate to the manufacturer’s website and download suitable network drivers according to your hardware. You can search all the different network drivers available by typing in your computer’s or laptop’s model.
- Once you are done downloading the drivers, copy them to an external USB device and plug it into the computer where the error message is popping.
- Now, you can update the drivers in two ways. You can either run the installation file directly or use the device manager as shown below.
- Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter.
- Once in the device manager, expand network adapters and locate your Ethernet hardware. Right-click on it and select “Uninstall”.
- Windows might pop up a UAC confirming your actions. Press Yes and proceed. After uninstalling the driver, right-click on any empty space and select “Scan for hardware changes”. Windows will now automatically detect your hardware and install the default drivers. Reboot your computer and check if the problem got solved.
If rolling back drivers don’t do the trick, we can try installing the latest drivers. Here we will use the drivers you just downloaded.
- Open device manager, right-click on your Ethernet hardware and select “Update driver software”.
- Select the second options “Browse my computer for driver software”. Browse to the driver you downloaded and install it accordingly. Reboot your computer and check if the adapters work as expected.
Solution 3: Uninstalling Problematic Software
As mentioned at the start of the article, the error message we are experiencing is also caused by third-party software manipulating your network hardware for an optimized experience. This might sometimes cause discrepancies in the system and cause the computer to enter a STOP state.
Look for programs like ASUS Gamer First III or NVIDIA Network Access Manager etc. and make sure that they are disabled completely. If not, feel free to uninstall them from your computer. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter to load all the installed programs in front of you. Also, keep a lookout for any third-party protection utility installed on your computer which has something to do with the network drivers on your computer.
Solution 4: Performing a System Restore
If you are still unable to eradicate the blue screen of death even after following all the solutions listed above, you should go ahead and do a system restore. If you do not have any restore points, consider doing a clean installation of Windows on your computer.
Note: Performing a system restore is only valid if this error started to come after a windows update. If this isn’t the case, you can go ahead and perform a new install of Windows after backing your data.
Here is the method on how to restore Windows from the last restore point.
- Press Windows + S to launch the start menu’s search bar. Type “restore” in the dialogue box and select the first program which comes in the result.
- One in the restore settings, press System Restore present at the beginning of the window under the tab of System Protection.
- Now a wizard will open navigating you through all the steps to restore your system. You can either select the recommended restore point or choose a different restore point. Press Next and proceed with all the further instructions.
- Now select the restore point from the list of options available. If you have more than one system restore points, they will be listed here.
- Now windows will confirm your actions for the last time before it starts the system restore process. Save all your work and backup important files just in case and proceed with the process.
- Once you have restored successfully, log into the system and see if you still get the blue screen of death.
If you don’t have any restore points or if the system restore doesn’t work, you can do a clean install of Windows using bootable media. You check our article on how to create a bootable media. There are two ways: by using media creation tool by Microsoft and by using Rufus.
In addition to the above mentioned solutions, you can also lookup the article with the complete error code (for example KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED) on our website and you will get a detailed solution for the problem. You can also perform the tips mentioned below:
- You should try undoing any recent changes made to your computer before this BSOD started happening.
- You can also run a System file checker which will check all the corruptions in your file structure.
- Another method to check for dicrepancies is running check disk and driver verifier in your computer.